News / Middle East

Obama, Netanyahu Discuss Mideast, Iran

President Barack Obama (r) meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House, May 20, 2011
President Barack Obama (r) meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House, May 20, 2011

President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have conferred about Mideast peace efforts, including recent Israel-Palestinian talks in Jordan. They also discussed Iran.

This is the first time in a long while that there has been an official White House statement on a telephone conversation between Mr. Obama and the Israeli prime minister.

It was, according to a White House statement, part of their regular communication and cooperation on bilateral and regional issues, with a major topic being the recent talks in Amman, Jordan between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.

Mr. Obama reaffirmed his commitment to the goal of a comprehensive and lasting peace in the region. The president meets next week with Jordan's King Abdullah to discuss the status of peace efforts.

The Obama-Netanyahu conversation also dealt with Iran and came against a background of a number of events including Iranian threats to close the Strait of Hormuz, and the recent assassination in Tehran of an Iranian nuclear scientist.

In Thursday's White House news briefing, Press Secretary Jay Carney repeated unequivocal U.S. condemnation of the assassination, referring to it as "the act of violence in Iran", and saying the U.S. had nothing to do with it.

Carney was very specific in saying "we don't speak for any other country" when asked by a reporter if Washington could say that Israel had nothing to do with it.

The president's spokesman responded this way when asked about a call by a hardline Iranian newspaper for retaliation against Israel in response to the killing of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, who worked at Iran's main uranium enrichment site.

"Our concern about Iranian behavior is ever-present and you know we are very vigilant and mindful of various threats that are made, whether they involve the Strait of Hormuz, or other areas or issues, but I don't have a specific level of concern to convey to you," said Carney.

If Mr. Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu discussed the assassination of the nuclear scientist, the White House isn't saying. Thursday's statement said they talked about "recent Iran-related developments, and Mr. Obama reiterated his unshakable commitment to Israel’s security.

Carney said the U.S. has been pleased with progress made so far in U.S. efforts to persuade countries to lessen their dependence on imports of oil from Iran.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has traveled to Asian capitals, including Beijing and Tokyo, and reports Thursday said Japan had agreed to steps to lessen its reliance on Iran. Geithner apparently received no similar assurances from China.

In the latest stage of global sanctions pressure on Iran over its nuclear program, the U.S. is targeting Iran's Central Bank with sanctions against companies dealing with it, and European countries are preparing to tighten restrictions on Iranian oil exports.

You May Like

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid